IN a sombre 10- minute broadcast from Downing Street last night, Boris Johnson painstakingly set out his argument for his new barrage of restrictions.
The Prime Minister is facing increasing dissent from a growing number of Tory MPs and business leaders concerned that this approach threatens to stifle economic recovery and excessively curb civil liberties.
His address, recorded earlier yesterday, calmly dissected claims, warning that failure to act now with a balanced package will spell far worse restrictions in future. Mr Johnson strove to make clear his latest measures are not a return to lockdown.
He also took head- on the claims that simply shielding the most vulnerable would be enough to overcome the virus.
Speaking beside a Union flag, this was Mr Johnson at his most statesmanlike, drawing upon the country’s deep traditions of patriotism and collective endeavour.
He hailed the overwhelming majority for doing the right thing during the lockdown but warned too many of our countrymen and women are falling short.
He also struck a personal, confessional tone. With his hands clasped before him on a desktop, he acknowledged his feelings of conflict between his libertarian instincts and the need to temporarily curb the nation’s freedoms for the public good.